Top 7 ways to handle the stress of hazmat supply chain disruptions

This is not the easiest time to be a supply chain pro.

A perfect storm of complications—an ongoing pandemic, the explosion of eCommerce, maritime misadventures, raw material shortages, labor shortages, and actual storms—are causing global disruptions like we haven’t seen in decades. Just in time for peak holiday shipping season.

If you work in the global supply chain—especially in the global Dangerous Goods supply chain—it’s going to be a stressful couple of months. Unpredictable disruptions can cause delays, delays can cause more disruptions, and each day only has 24 hours in it. How can you relieve stress and protect your mental health when supply chain disruptions seem to happen every day?

Here are a few suggestions.

#1: Avoid common hazmat shipping errors

When you’re doing everything imaginable to make sure your shipments reach their destinations on time, the last thing you need is to have a shipment delayed or returned due to a Dangerous Goods compliance failure. Common hazmat shipping errors include mistakes with labels, marks and documentation, neglecting reverse logistics processes and—everyone’s favorite—shipping hazmat without knowing you’re shipping hazmat.

#2: Exercise regularly

Take the dog for a long walk every morning. Do a half-hour on your treadmill or stationary bike. If you live somewhere with decent weather, play a round of golf once a week. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular exercise can improve your mood, help you relax, lower anxiety and improve your sleep. It won’t help you avoid supply chain disruptions, but it can help you worry about them less.

#3: Automate Dangerous Goods processes

When you’re this busy, every worker and every minute count. But too many shipping operations waste workers’ minutes by having them repeat routine tasks, hunt down information or re-do tasks done wrong the first time. Automation with a robust TMS or ERP—especially one that’s integrated with Dangerous Goods software—can keep everyone working at a higher rate of efficiency, with fewer errors. And that keeps your blood pressure down.

#4: Listen to music

Cortisol is sometimes called “the stress hormone.” Over prolonged periods of time, it can lead to anxiety disorders, depression, chronic pain and more. Yet a 2021 study showed that adults who listened to music—regardless of the type—exhibited significantly reduced cortisol levels. So if supply chain disruptions have you stressed out, mellow out with Mozart or pound some Plush to settle those nerves down.

#5: Lean on advanced hazmat software

What’s more stressful than worrying about every detail? Getting an important detail wrong. When you’re shipping Dangerous Goods, those missed details can cost you serious time and money. Labelmaster’s DGIS software lets you stop wasting time with indecipherable regulatory manuals, while you avoid fines and returned shipments. You’ll relieve stress with every mouse click.

#6: Adopt a dog or cat

According to Johns Hopkins, simply petting a dog lowers your cortisol levels (see #4) and increases levels of the feel-good hormone oxytocin. And get this: 84 percent of post-traumatic stress disorder patients reported a significant reduction in symptoms with a service dog, with 40 percent being able to decrease their medications. If it works for PTSD patients, it ought to work for hazmat pros.

#7: Talk to an expert you trust

If you manufacture, ship or handle Dangerous Goods, new items and new situations can stump even seasoned hazmat pros—and you can’t afford being stumped when you’re at full capacity. Avoid the disruption and stress by getting fast, accurate answers from the Labelmaster hazmat hotline! Just call 1.800.621.5808, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central, Monday through Friday to speak with one of our experts.

To survive all the supply chain disruptions of this crazy holiday season, our top recommendation is to make your Dangerous Goods processes as fast, smooth and stress-free as possible. And our second recommendation is to exercise with your dog while listening to Tom Petty at full blast.

Make sure your shipments are safe and in complete compliance with a full line of solutions from Labelmaster—a full-service provider of goods and services for hazardous materials and Dangerous Goods professionals, shippers, transport operators and EH&S providers.


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